THE £20 CHALLENGE (Week Seven)


SWC writes…..

This week has been crazy. Exeter has been taken over by Radio 1 and it is bedlam. Badger and I have both been asked to work on the Saturday on site at Powderham Castle. This might sound exciting but it really isn’t. The office where I am sitting, I say office, I mean portacabin, has a view of the back of the urinals from one side and a ‘burrito stall’ from the other. I am not sure which smells worse. The place is over run by people who have never been to a festival or music event before. People who are complaining that you get precisely no change from a tenner from the bar when you order two bottles of pear cider. People who do not normally drink in the afternoon, and in the heat, people who are moaning that there is no big screen TV to watch the rugby.  We also ran out of toilet paper around an hour ago. Its ok – I’ve spied a copy of the Sun which I am reserving for any ‘emergencies’.

And then there is the music. Sigh

Saturday headliners are Mumford and Sons, I’ve seen one of them walking about back here in the ‘enclosure’ wearing a fedora and sporting a beard that looks like he has wrestled a cat and stuck it to his face. They are joined on the bill by the likes of Meghan Traynor (no me neither), Nick Jonas and an act called Sigma who to make matters worse have promised that they will be joined on stage by horse faced professional stupid person Paloma Faith and wanky professional tax dodgers Take That for their brand of watered down pop rave. Its torment. The one saving grace if you can call it that is Jake Bugg, he’s alright, if you like watching a teenager pretend to be Ian McCulloch. Which I do. So there.  Actually his set was pretty good – I watched it later on telly.

The ‘New Music’ tent is marginally better, you do at least get Chrvches, and Tame Impala which should be pretty good and I have scheduled my break in order to watch both. I have also just seen Spring King on the Introducing Stage who were amazing and if you haven’t heard them yet I urge you all to check them out as soon as you can.

mp3 : Spring King – City

To top all this, Badger has just swung by my office – he is one of the lucky ones who has been allowed backstage into the VIP area. He said that it is full of journalists trying to interview Gary Barlow – not that good – but they have flushing toilets, fresh fruit and free water back there. I have a warm bottle of Volvic, a banana that looks like it’s been smuggled anally from the Dominican Republic and a sandwich that looks like it has been trodden on by the crowd on the way back from watching the earlier performance by Sigma and Take That. Anyway, Badger has swung by with this weeks CD.

“I thought you’d be bored so I thought I’d drop this by for you to listen to”.

He’s right I have been bored, so bored that I have just finished counting that there are 73 screws and 19 bolts holding this portacabin together. When the bass from the nearby whirly-gig roundabout throbs the whole places vibrates.

“I got it from the Teignmouth branch of ‘British Heart Foundation’ price £2, I must go, I’m needed to drive Meaghan Traynor to Exeter Airport at four pm.”

This is a true story. Badger drove a pop starlet to the airport on Saturday. He has barely mentioned it.

I open the bag that Badger has left on the desk. It has a note stuck to it which in true Badger style is written in green ink. He does this all the time when he thinks he is being clever. The note reads ‘Another Greatest Hits CD to add to your growing collection’. It is the ‘Best of Blur’. It is the 2xCD set – but in true charity shop style, CD2 appears to be missing. Genius.

The other day I bought Badger’s next CD (from the Rowcroft shop in Totnes) – or I thought I did – it was a copy of the debut album by Rage Against the Machine – only to get it home and find out that it was copied version of the sleeve and inside was an burnt CD of American nu metal fucktards Korn – never has the sound of case crushing underneath wellington boot sounded so refreshing.

I’m not a big Blur fan. However I’ll say this for them, they were incredibly consistent. It is rather ‘Parklife’ heavy for my liking and their best album ‘Modern Life is Rubbish’ is woefully under represented here – with ‘Popscene’ and ‘Chemical World’ omitted but the rubbish ‘For Tomorrow’ included.

The thing that used to annoy me about Blur the most was their singer Damon Albarn – his mockney Cockney Cheeky chappie persona annoyed me to the point of violent swearing. I find ‘Country House’ difficult to listen to – the use of the word ‘Jackanory’ to describe how things are going for instance – its just too fake. I also used to live near a bloke who looked like Damon – and then spent all his time and money on perfecting this – and in the mornings when I left for work I use to see him walking to the train station – and it always put me in a bad mood.

Although today, it is cheese making, mates with Dave Cameron, bassist Alex James that annoys me more – no idea why.

Still, it’s hard to argue with the material that made it to this record. The early not quite shoegaze shine of ‘She’s So High’ the bouncy dance cross over of ‘Girls and Boys’ and the newbie (at the time) ‘Music is My Radar’ to pick three excellent tracks.

mp3 : Blur – She’s So High
mp3 : Blur – Girls And Boys
mp3 : Blur – The Universal
mp3 : Blur – Music Is My Radar

It’s a good album – if you own no Blur albums – its worth checking out, but it’s definitely not good enough to joining my list of Greatest Hits Albums worth buying.

So here is the skinny

Bought from Teignmouth British Heart Foundation

Price £2

Left £7

Weeks left 3